- Posted June 13, 2014 by
New York, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Living with a chronic illness
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Soap Opera Actress - Sheyene Gerardi Left Her Dark Days Behind And Is Back To Life And Showbiz
With all of life’s ups and downs for many it seems like there is no light at the end of the doom and glooms however our special guest today Sheyene Gerardi has taken her misfortunes and made them into successes.
Ms. Gerardi is a Venezuelan model and soap opera actress that was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma and given only three months to live. This, fortunately, is a story with a happy ending.
Now without further ado here is Venezuela’s very own Sheyene Gerardi
“In 2007, my life was paused after I was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma stage 4 and was given only 90 days to live.
It was not easy but I took it with optimism however the mind is a very powerful tool and after much mental and physical perseverance while receiving chemotherapy for 3 long years (I feel like I broke a Guinness record) I no longer feel like a victim of my circumstances.
Fact is it was a great learning experience for me and I am truly transformed after all that transpired - I have much to be thankful for.
Well as of now, it has been five years since I began chemotherapy treatment and I am currently in remission.
Unlike many struggling with and fighting cancer I maintained a healthy appearance and did not even lose my hair and this I am even more grateful for.
Currently I am composing a personal memoir and I really focus much of my time on the ‘Sheyene Gerardi Foundation,’ as I am an advocate for children that are in need of a strong educational background.
As I am living between New York and Miami I am starting to analyze proposed projects and resume my acting career. Working in the United States of America is refreshing and is a country where I have been welcomed with much warmth and has met very special people.
Through my emotional and physical trials I have learned the power of positive thinking and just as important the expression of gratitude and thanksgiving.
One of the ways I share my gratitude is via my personal blog where I devote myself daily to read the comments posted on my blog (www.SheyeneGerardi.net).
I am thankful for the outpouring of love and appreciation from those who take the time to read my blog posts and then comment.
Many ask me where I was born, do you have brothers or sisters, Et cetera.
Okay here are a few more ‘about me’ answers:
1) I was born in Caracas
2) I am an only child
3) My extended family is small and lives in Venezuela
4) My parents passed away
5) I currently share my time between New York, Miami, Florida and Los Angeles, California
Oh, and yes it is true. When I was a child I always wanted to be a doctor and it was by accident that my showbiz career started. Initially I did it as a hobby.
You see, during college I started began acting / modeling to pay for my studies and gradually more projects were presenting themselves and they demanded more time and professionalism.
It was at that time the university was experiencing many problems and they were considering closing. Students marched and protested, so that semester was "lost," however it was around that same time I was offered a character in a teen drama on RCTV.
So I decided to interrupt college to dedicate time to this project. After that, more opportunities/characters followed.
When I discovered that I had cancer was in the middle of the recordings of "Camaleona," a soap opera of RCTV.
I was exhausted and just lost my parents, so my mind was weak and that allowed something negative to trigger in my body.
After a week of analysis, they said I had a very advanced lymphoma (stage 4) and they could not do anything for me.
I encouraged myself and took a plane to the U.S. to get a second opinion. They too gave me about 3 months to live.
Then I found Dr. Humberto Caldera, who literally "saved my life." He personally put everything in order, so that I could receive the best treatment.
And so began my victory march.
Unbelievable but true is I did not lose your hair during chemotherapy and I am thankful because this is what worried allot. I did not want to be bald, I felt that it was a mental and individual thing - even talking about cancer, chemotherapy or hair loss brings an immediate sense of unease to people.
The words are so strong and negative. I think we condition ourselves before going to a treatment.
Yes! Many days I felt bad – really bad. There are good days and bad days. Even in the best of times, we all have good days and bad days. But I never knew what it was to go beyond “just a bad day,” because for me it is unnecessary to get to that point.
We all have a machine that is more powerful than any medicine and that is the mind. Of course when I say this, I do not imply that medicine is not worth it; I trust it a lot. What I want to say is: when we join these two components, a synergy is created so that no cancer, no matter how bad it is, can achieve its mission.
I think attitude is very important; fatalistic thoughts are not allowed. The truth is that we never know what will happen. Give yourself the opportunity to write your own history. It's hard, but worth it.
I achieved my health, working and staying active. In my mind the words disease or suffering never existed. They are just circumstances and barriers that we must pass. Everything depends on oneself.
I adopted the phrase: incurable is curable from within!
And to people in general I say, do not wait until a tragic moment forces you to change your life; decide to be happy and be happy, because happiness is also a decision.
Well, as I said before I lost what I loved most—my family—in a car accident. Being the only child, this affected me so much. I was very sad, I felt I had no one, and I felt unprotected because my mother was always my best friend.
When they left so unexpectedly, their unconditional love disappeared and suddenly my life felt empty. I simply had no desire to live. After a year I was so sick that doctors gave me just 12 weeks to live.
I needed a lot of help. Many people worried about me and offered their support. I realized through this experience that I am not alone, I just lost my parents and I still have many wonderful people around me.
In Venezuela I am blessed to have a school named after me, thanks to the people who love me. The most important gifts of my life were and are words of encouragement. I can say that the support was unconditional...This positivity is the most beautiful thing you can give to the people you love.
My parents have left and now it is my turn to give life—to teach my children what I learned from my parents.
It helped me a lot to be surrounded by intelligent and positive people. I always received good advice and much of love.
It is also a part of my life and personality to always look on the bright side of things. Life is meant to be happy; everything else is just an excuse.
Life itself is a synonym of strength and optimism, and the desire to live and enjoy every waking hour. We are the result of what we think.
Oh, if you want to know I am single and live with Mardo (my dog), my unconditional friend. And I am open to start a family when the time comes, without rushing it. When that day comes I would like to have the family for a lifetime.
For now I have many plans, dreams, and ideas ... Especially to keep working on soap operas and movies. I am even considering getting into the production side. There are more things that you will know soon, but I ca not give many details yet.” said, Sheyene Gerardi, Soap Opera Actress